The Top 10 Moments in ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6
It’s been an explosive season for Game of Thrones. Having finally reached the climactic finale, we’ve seen the biggest progression of plot points in the show’s history, bringing a handful of story threads to satisfying (and sometimes terrifying) conclusions. The end result has Westeros thrown in chaos: Kings Landing is a god damn mess, Daenerys is about to arrive with a massive army at her back, and while everyone vies for the Iron Throne, the White Walkers bide their time north of the Wall. And as for the series of events that got us here? Well, it’s been spectacular to say the least.
In past seasons, Game of Thrones has moved notoriously slow. George R.R. Martin is nothing if not a deliberate storyteller, and it’s led to some glacially-paced episodes. Season 6, having eschewed the source material novels, broke free and blew forward. Plot movement was the name of the game, and it gifted us with a whole treasure trove of memorable moments, both gruesome and triumphant.
- Melisandre reveals herself to be right around a bajillion years old
Most fans thought the season premiere would provide us with an answer to the question of Jon Snow’s mortality. What it did instead though was afford us insight into the character of the Red Priestess, Melisandre. Removing her necklace in the final scene of episode, we see a weathered old crone who’s been hiding her true form from us all this whole time. More than that, we see her questioning her faith in a way we’ve never seen before, leading us to wonder if anyone really could bring Jon back from the grave.
- Surprise! Jon Snow’s alive
Well, as it turns out, Melisandre did bring Jon back, bringing the most contentious debate in Game of Thrones history to an end. The time between Seasons 5 and 6 had fans investigating everything from Kit Harrington’s haircut to cryptic actor interviews, all with the goal of discerning the fate of Jon Snow. Part of us never really wanted to believe he was gone for good, especially after a whole season of setting him up as the hero of the entire show. Another part though knew just how merciless this show is, leaving just enough doubt to make us think he might be gone for good. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed in the Game of Thrones writer’s room, returning our favorite bastard to the land of the living.
- The Tower of Joy (Part I)
For readers of the George R.R. Martin source novels, the Tower of Joy has been a long-awaited affair. In it, we see some insanely cool swordplay, as Ned Stark goes toe-to-toe with Ser Arthur Dayne in an effort to rescue his sister, Lyanna. Dayne carves up Ned’s compatriots while dual-wielding longswords, and only finds himself vanquished thanks to a well-placed stab in the back from Howland Reed. The flashback wraps up with Ned hearing a scream from the tower in the backdrop of their battle. Things cut away soon after that though, leaving a big fat cliffhanger that dangles until the final moments of the finale, and later confirming a popular GoT fan theory.
- Daenerys goes all “Fire and Blood” on the Dothraki
Daenerys Targaryen starts Season 6 out captured by the Dothraki, and sentenced to a life of solitude with the other Khaleesi widows. Never one to submit to the patriarchy, she takes that as an opportunity to do what she does best: burn her enemies alive. The great Khals of the Dothraki find themselves trapped in their surprisingly flammable meeting hut, while the decidedly fireproof Daenerys looks on. This in turn gives her control over the massive Dothraki army, sending a clear message to anyone who has any designs of standing in her way.
- “HOLD THE DOOR”
If you want to turn a Game of Thrones fan into a pile of tears and misery, just whisper “hold the door” into their ear and watch what happens. Of all the various reveals of Season 6, none were quite as heartbreaking as the story of Hodor, a man caught in a horrific time-loop involving his own gruesome death.
And since time travel is confusing, here’s the simplest way we could find to explain it: Before he was Hodor, Willis was a stable boy for the Stark family. Bran, having traveled back to Willis’s younger years and warged into Hodor’s body in his own time, forms a connection between the two periods. That essentially fries poor Willis’s brain, as he experiences his death decades in the future, forever repeating “HOLD THE DOOR,” the very words Meera screamed at Hodor in his final moments. Rest well, sweet prince, and may you Hodor on in the next life.